Colombo: Sri Lanka beat Rohit Sharma’s Team India by five wickets in the opener of the 2018 Nidahas tri-nation Twenty20 series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.
Batting first, India posted 174-5 on board before Lanka chased the target in the second innings with nine balls remaining.
Washington Sundar delivered India the perfect start they needed early on by dismissing Kusal Mendis.
But Dinesh Chandimal and co fought back with pride as Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Perera soon changed gears and put the hosts in command in a matter of few overs.
Perera was the wrecker-in-chief as he took the attack to the opposition despite losing partners at the other end.
The spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Sundar bounced back with a few crucial wickets as the required run-rate kept creeping down.
Sundar soon baffled Perera to get the Men in Blue back in the game. However, what was to follow is something the Indians would not have imagined.
Thisara Perera and Dasun Shanaka played important cameos to steer the hosts to the finish line and shock the tournament favourites.
Sri Lanka 137-5 after 15 overs:
WICKET! Googly by Chahal and Tharanga is bowled as he fails to pick it up during attempting a sweep shot.
Sri Lanka 127-4 after 13 overs:
WICKET! Much needed breakthrough for Rohit Sharma's men. A couple of missed deliveries early on rattle the batsman, who looks to get a desperate boundary. Sundar deceives him by bowling it wide and Kusal is far behind as Karthik whips of the bails.
Sri Lanka 98-3 after 9 overs:
WICKET! An absolute beauty from Chahal. Googly skids through the middle and Chandimal fails to pick the line and the length. Gets bowled!
Sri Lanka 70-2 after 5 overs:
WICKET! Unadkat strikes and a big relief for the visitors. Gunathilaka makes room in an attempt to clobber in down the ground, but is too early into his shot. Finds Pant at mid-off.
Sri Lanka 19-2 after 2 overs:
WICKET! Washington Sundar strikes. Flights the delivery and Mendis look to clob it over mid-off only to find Dhawan who takes a catch running backwards.
India 174-5 after 20 overs:
After being put to bat by Sri Lanka, India posted a satisfactory 174-5 on board in the opener of the 2018 Nidahas tri-nation Twenty20 series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.
Sri Lanka made a perfect start to the match by scalping the precious wickets of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina. However, Manish Pandey and Shikhar Dhawan soon steered the innings with a 94-run stand to put the Men in Blue in a commanding position.
While Pandey departed, Dhawan stood at the crease and continued to batter the opposition bowling with continuous boundary. But he soon fell short of his first T20I by 10 runs as Jeevan Mendis dismissed him.
Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik went big in the final few overs to take the visitors to a promising total. Dushmanta Chameera was the pick of the Lanka bowlers with two wickets to his name.
India 153-4 after 18 overs:
WICKET! Dhawan's fabulous knock comes to an end. Gunathilaka tosses it wide outside off and the southpaw bends on one knee to power it over mid-off but doesn't make good contact. Perera, present at long off boundary rope takes a safe catch.
India 105-3 after 13 overs:
WICKET! Jeevan Mendis puts an end to a 94-run partnership between Dhawan and Manish Pandey. Tossed up delivery, Pandey makes room around leg aiming for a biggie but doesn't get the execution. Finds Gunathilaka at deep mid-wicket.
India 9-2 after 2 overs:
WICKET! What a start for Lanka. Raina looks to go big and make room outside off, misses a full toss from Pradeep and is bowled.
India 2-1 after 1 over:
WICKET! Jeevan Mendis holds on to a stunner and Rohit Sharma has to walk back without opening his account. Slower ball by Chameera on a good length, Rohit lofts it over cover but doesn't get the timing right. Mendis from mid-off runs backwards and takes a superb diving catch.
Fifth duck for Rohit Sharma in T20Is, second against SL
India won 1, lost 3 whenever he scores duck in T20Is#SLvInd— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) March 6, 2018
Toss: Sri Lanka skipper Dinesh Chandimal has won the toss and elected to bowl first.
"Not worried about losing the toss. Looks a good pitch, we need to come out and play good cricket for 40 overs. I want to start the series on a fresh note. It's a perfect opportunity for the youngsters to showcase their skills. They have done well in the domestic tournaments," Rohit Sharma says.
Here's how both the teams line-up for today -
Sri Lanka (Playing XI): Upul Tharanga, Danushka Gunathilaka, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal(w/c), Kusal Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Thisara Perera, Jeevan Mendis, Akila Dananjaya, Dushmantha Chameera, Nuwan Pradeep
A young Team India side will challenge themselves when they face Sri Lanka in the opener of the 2018 Nidahas tri-nation Twenty20 series at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo on Tuesday.
Rohit Sharma and co enter the tournament with the favourites tag, but they will be put to test by the hosts and Bangladesh as the Men in Blue will be without the likes of Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Other big names such as Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav have all been rested, which well test the Men in Blue’s true potential.
The visitors clinched the ODI and the T20 series in the recently-concluded tour of South Africa, but beating Sri Lanka again in their own den won’t come easy.
Lanka is on a high after thrashing neighbours Bangladesh in all three formats during their February 2018 tour, that also saw an end to their bad run.
New Sri Lanka coach Chandika Hathurusingha has changed the team fortunes but the hosts have faced a major blow as Angelo Mathews, Asela Gunaratne and pacer Shehan Madushanka are all injured. Dinesh Chandimal will take over the captaincy reins in the absence of Mathews.
The Nidahas trophy, which will go on till March 18th is being played to celebrate Sri Lanka's 70th year of independence.
Where to watch the matches live?
Live telecast: The matches can be seen live on DSport (English commentary) and DD National (Hindi commentary).
Live streaming: It can also be streamed live on the Jio app.
India: Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik(w), Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jaydev Unadkat, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Hooda.
Sri Lanka: Upul Tharanga, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Dinesh Chandimal(w/c), Dhananjaya de Silva, Thisara Perera, Dasun Shanaka, Jeevan Mendis, Akila Dananjaya, Suranga Lakmal, Danushka Gunathilaka, Nuwan Pradeep, Amila Aponso, Isuru Udana, Dushmantha Chameera....